Welcome summer and fall at Chimney Rock National Monument!  Discuss and compare how the ancients may have lived and celebrated these important days of the year. With a 360-degree vantage point and the hush of early morning in the wilderness, the sunrise from the Great House is a marvelous experience for the eyes and the spirit, and an amazing opportunity for photography.  You don’t have to be a photographer to enjoy the beautiful views of the San Juan mountain range and the twin pinnacles from a top the Chimney Rock mesa.


Following the sunrise photo session (time is allowed for setting up tripods, etc.), depart the Great House on your own or join your guide for an interpreted hike with fascinating information about the importance this location is thought to have had for the people who lived here a thousand years ago.  Bring a flashlight/headlamp as well as a light jacket and your camera if you’d like.  The hike up to the Great House occurs in the half-light and coolness of pre-dawn. The ¼-mile trail is rough, steep and rocky in places, and has sheer drop-offs alongside, so we encourage you to pack your equipment on your back.


Guests must enter the Hwy 151 entry gate during the check-in period below; the gate will be locked at the end of this time. These are reservations-only programs, not suitable for children under 8. The fee is $20.00 and is considered a non-refundable donation. A booking fee applies to each ticket purchased online or through the call center. Making a reservation through the call center or website is the only way to guarantee a spot on this tour.  Most programs are at full capacity prior to the event but we will accommodate walk-ins if space is available. Booking fees do not apply to walk-ins.  In the event of cancellation due to inclement weather, rain checks will be available. For details, please call the Visitor Cabin (970-883-5359) 9:00 to 4:00 Mountain Time.

Reservations strongly recommended. Limited space. Walk-ins on a first-come, first-serve basis.

For more on the archaeoastronomy of Chimney Rock click HERE.

Sunrise Photo Tour Dates

Summer Solstice- Friday, June 21:

  • Arrive for check-in 4:20am-4:50am.
  • Sunrise is at approximately 5:50am.

Fall Equinox- Monday, September 23: 

  • Arrive for check-in 5:30am-6:00am.
  • Sunrise is at approximately 7:00am

You can book our monthly programs online or by calling 1-877-444-6777.